PYP – Curiosity and Creativity
The chicken or the egg? An age old conundrum
Curiosity and Creativity (PYP Learner Profile & Attitudes)
The same conundrum could be discussed in relation to curiosity and creativity. Are they connected? Can they be independent of each other? Is one more important than the other? Are either of them required to function in our global society? Are these important for employment opportunities?
There are many questions that we could put forward – being curious – and we can supply answers according to our experiences, our beliefs and values, or even just what we think about it (creativity). The IBO recognises curiosity and creativity in many ways – through the Learner Profile attributes and the Attitudes of the PYP.
Inquirers show curiosity by being curious about the nature of learning, about the world, its people and cultures
Thinkers are creative by being creative and imaginative in their thinking and in their approach to problems and dilemmas
(IBO Learner Profile, PYP Attitudes)
In our classrooms we encourage these attributes and attitudes in learning.
For the vast majority of children, curiosity comes naturally. Faced with the unusual, unknown, unfamiliar, and uncertain, children might feel curious. It is a gift to nurture curiosity. After all, we don’t just want our children to be interested when something fascinating lies in front of them. We want them to be able to wield their curiosity on demand. We want them to be able to direct their attention to what they care about, develop passionate pursuits, and discover what is interesting in seemingly mundane and boring events. There is novelty and intrigue to be found nearly everywhere and it is during these moments when they feel curious, explore, discover, and grow, that children feel most alive.
So what are some ways to cultivate curiosity and creativity in our children at home?
Teach them to be flexible thinkers and doers – Open-minded, Appreciation, Perspective
Teach them to view “facts” from multiple perspectives. Remind them that there is always more than one way to look at an issue and they should consider more than one whenever possible.
Provide an environment that supports their autonomy – Risk-takers
Children are more curious and find it easier to persist in the face of obstacles, and are more creative when they are given support to make personal choices. Ensure that many of the activities in their lives map onto their interests and give them challenges that push their skills to the limit. Subscribe to
Help your child feel competent – Confidence
You might think that all your child needs to be curious is the ability to recognize what is interesting, complex, mysterious, and uncertain about the world around them. This is not enough. They also need to feel capable of comprehending the thing that caught their attention. Creating opportunities for skill-building and success is an important process. One way to do this is to allow time for play, free of constraints such as the fear of failure and mistakes and given them praise and constructive feedback.
Provide a safe haven for experimentation – Risk-taker, Inquirer, Confidence, Curiosity
This might seem counter-intuitive but to take risks, act on our curiosity, and experiment with new ways of thinking and acting, we need to feel safe. We are more curious when we possess secure, safe environments. When we share our interests with other people and they listen and are responsive, these events become even more interesting and meaningful to us. When other people validate what makes us curious, we literally become more curious and want to pursue similar activities with greater enthusiasm.
Schedule regular doses of novelty and challenge – Knowledgeable, Confidence, Curiosity
Far too often, we select activities for our children that are easy for them to perform because we want them to feel successful and in control. We need to help them to select activities that require them to stretch their skills and knowledge to the limit. By repeatedly being curious, they become more open to new experiences, more comfortable dealing with troublesome situations, and more confident, knowledgeable, and resilient.
Our children can always be creative, open-minded, and curious as long as they are encouraged to be so.
Sue Gough – PYP Co-ordinator